April 17, 2024

Official Cyclospora Count Tops 600; More Cases Likely

The official CDC count for the nationwide Cyclospora outbreak has topped 600, with 601 people sick in 22 states. Forty people have been hospitalized; there have been no deaths. Illnesses that occurred after July 15, 2013 may not yet have been reported because of the long time lag between when someone gets sick and the case is diagnosed and reported. Cyclospora tests are not ordered by physicians very often.


According to the CDC’s epidemiological curve, they expect at least 30 to 40 more cases before this outbreak finally ends. The most cases were reported in mid-June, with the peak being 6/20/13, when 41 cases were reported. The 22 states included in this outbreak are Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York (including New York City), Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 92 years, with a median age of 51.

Cyclospora cayetanenin is a single-celled parasite that causes an intestinal infection. A traceback investigation has confirmed that the outbreak in Iowa and Nebraska is linked to a salad mix by Taylor Farms de Mexico that was sold at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants.

The symptoms of a Cyclospora infection include watery diarrhea that is sometimes explosive, that can last up to 2 months and recur even after treatment. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, body aches, bloating, increased gas, weight loss, stomach cramps and pain, and nausea and vomiting. If you are experiencing these symptoms, especially for diarrhea that lasts longer than three days, see your doctor.

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